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The Pantanal (North)

Hi all, Almost certainly you’ve heard of the Florida Everglades. Maybe you’ve even gone on an airboat ride and tossed marshmallows to the alligators. Actually a very slow-flowing river 60 miles wide and 100 or so miles long (6,000+ square miles), the Everglades encompasses much of the southern end of Florida. But have you heard […]

Chapada dos Guimarães national park

Hi all, There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the Chapada dos Guimarães. I’d been to Brazil several times before anyone told me about this national park. But it’s worth visiting, especially if you plan to visit the Pantanal from the north. The Pantanal? OK, let’s back up. You’ve no doubt heard of the Florida […]

Hiking the trails of Rio

Hi all, There is no question that Rio is a great city in which to party. After all, it’s home to the largest Carnival celebration in the world. It’s also a great place to relax, with its many famous beaches. But sometimes you need to get in a bit of exercise, and one great way to […]

Beaches of Rio de Janeiro

Hello all, When you visit Rio, one activity which will certainly be on your list is a visit to one (or more) of the city’s wonderful beaches. The beach most frequented by tourists is Copacabana Beach. Copa was evidently selected a few years ago by the city government to be the focal point of tourism for […]

The best beach in the world?

Hi all, For the second year in a row, the beach at Baia do Sancho (Sancho’s Bay) in Fernando de Noronha Archipelago tops TripAdvisor’s list of the best beaches in the world. I’m typically skeptical of such lists. Comparing beaches (or whatever) often is a matter of comparing apples and oranges, and also ratings are generally […]

New Year’s Eve in Brazil

Hi all, Happy New Year! Or, as we typically say here, Próspero Ano Novo. New Year’s celebrations are similar here to those in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world. Typically Brazilians congregate and often eat and drink too much. There are over-priced affairs at bars and restaurants, or simpler affairs at friends’ homes. There […]

Carnaval blocos are underway!

Hi everyone! Yes, I’m back after a hiatus. Really, I had to return, since Carnaval 2014 is almost here! Officially, Carnaval (I will stick with the Portuguese spelling) this year will be March 1-4, in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday. But Carnaval really begins long before. [For those of you into the arcane: […]

Christmas Tree Lighting in Rio

Hi all, I’m back. Was very busy then down with a severe cold. But back in fighting trim again. We are rapidly approaching Christmas, and a Christmas tradition here in Rio is the lighting of the floating Christmas Tree at Lagoa (lagoon) Rodrigo de Freitas. The lighting this year was last Saturday. My friend Allie, […]

Climbing Pedra Bonita

Hi all, Rio grew up around – and sometimes on – cones and hills of granite, called morros. These morros lend Rio much of her character and charm. One such morro is Pedra Bonita (literally, “Pretty Rock” – it loses a little in translation). Pedra Bonita is located in Tijuca National Forest, which is the largest forest […]

An afternoon in Santa Teresa

Hi all, Yesterday I spent a lovely afternoon in the bairro of Santa Teresa, near downtown Rio. Definitely a place to visit when you’re in Rio. It’s especially great to visit on a hot afternoon, because it receives sea breezes and is much cooler than the neighborhoods below. I must run now, but will add […]